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Online Course for Teachers: Teaching Evolution

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SESSION 7: How Can You Use Active Learning to Teach Evolution?

Engage Part A: Active Learning

In the National Science Education Standards, the term "active process" implies physical and mental activity. Hands-on activities are not enough -- students also must have "minds-on" experiences. Science teaching must involve students in inquiry-oriented investigations in which they interact with their teachers and peers. Students establish connections between their current knowledge of science and the scientific knowledge found in many sources; they apply science content to new questions; they engage in problem solving, planning, decision making, and group discussions; and they experience assessments that are consistent with an active approach to learning.

(From the National Research Council. National Science Education Standards [Washington, DC, 1995], p. 20)

Image of Bonnie Chen

The students in Ms. Chen's class simulate feeding a population of wading birds to learn about natural selection. Keep in mind the above description of active learning as you watch "Teaching Evolution Case Studies: Bonnie Chen."

Bonnie Chen
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Read the background information on Ms. Chen's class and school.


Next: Engage Part B: Charting the Continuum

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